Talk:Essential oil

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 5 September 2018 and 10 December 2018. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Jgryka.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 20:52, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

EOs pharmaceutical and biological properties[edit]

I tried to highlight the pharmaceutical and biological properties of EOs by citing this article: "A status review on the medicinal properties of essential oils",[1] but my changes got reverted because I don't cite my sources. This is obviously false so what happened here? Why is this article[2] a reliable source but not mine? Both are from, both are published by Elsevier, neither of them is part of the Abridged Index Medicus. The article I have cited is even more cited, 843 citations according to google scholar.[3] So either I'm missing something, either someone is pushing his own agenda on this page. We can find an older review (2008) about the biological effects of essential oils here [4] in which we can read "The cytotoxic capacity of the essential oils based on a prooxidant activity can make them excellent antiseptic and antimicrobial agents for personal use, i.e. for purifying air, personal hygiene, or even internal use via oral consumption, and for insecticidal use for the preservation of crops or food stocks." among other claims of pharmaceutical and biological properties. With more than 7000 citations, for anyone familiar with scientific publications, this is a lot, even for a review. Also, I'm troubled by the sentence "there is not sufficient evidence that essential oils can effectively treat any condition", the article cited talks about aromatherapy, not directly essential oils. I've read the article and nowhere we can read that EOs are unable to effectively treat conditions, only that there isn't any reliable proof that aromatherapy can. Aromatherapy certainly uses EOs, but different usage can lead to different results, and claiming EOs can't effectively treat conditions from this article is pure extrapolation. François Mentec (talk) 08:18, 10 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The journal, Industrial Crops and Products, is not a WP:MEDRS source, and is unreliable for content addressing human diseases or therapies. There are no MEDRS-quality sources supporting the use of essential oils with any confirmed biological properties as topical medications or prescription drugs, but rather are considered as potential poisons when used topically or orally. Sources from traditional medicine practices or publications are quackery. WP:BURDEN states that article content should be supported by a compelling review source, but there are no high-quality sources for use of essential oils in human medicine. The section on aromatherapy is accurate as stated. Zefr (talk) 16:35, 10 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even if the primary focus of the journal isn't medicine, I expect the article would have been taken down if it contained false/misleading information considering it has been cited hundreds or even thousands of times. But I understand the caution.
Is the "Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine" considered MEDRS? Because this review [5] also state that EOs possess various biological effects: "EOs have a variety of effects on human health. As it has been demonstrated in many studies, these oils have many psychological effects such as reducing anxiety, treating depression, and even aid with falling asleep. Additionally, they have also been shown to possess antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties and used as an alternative to synthetic insect repellents. As there are many proven health benefits to essential oils, there are also adverse effects.". Among their citations we can find this one [6] which studied the "Effectiveness of aroma massage on advanced cancer patients with constipation" which was published in a medical journal: "Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice", and concluded: "The score of the constipation assessment scale of the aroma massage group was significantly lower than the control group. Apart from the improvement in bowel movements, the results showed significantly improved quality of life in physical and support domains of the aroma massage group.". Actually, after further reading it doesn't seem to be a reliable source: there is only a dozen of patients in each group, and the level of constipation of the "aroma massage group" is similar to the one of the "plain massage group", pardon my language, but I find it fucked up they only compare to the "control group" in the result section. So even in a medical journal we can find misleading publications, guess I learned something about scientific publications today. I'll continue to go through the sources of the Yale publication later and come back if I find anything more reliable/interesting.
I noticed the sources 3 and 24 in the EO article are the same, and I'm skeptical regarding the use of "Actions and Uses of Drugs" as a source since it's almost 60 years old, doesn't seem to be peer-reviewed, and cannot be accessed online (or at least I haven't found how). François Mentec (talk) 08:27, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All of the studies reviewed in this pubication are from laboratory research or primary studies in humans, and so do not represent a WP:MEDRS review and carry no substance on effects in humans. The journal "Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice" is a low-quality alternative medicine journal with a miniscule impact factor (1.7) indicating weak acceptance in academic medicine. Zefr (talk) 12:36, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Myths before reliable written records are not history, fails?[edit]

Dear User:Zefr, I know that my writing is not perfect. And it needs other contributors to improve it, not nearly completely deleted like this.

"promotional content, quackery and dubious refs from alt-med; myths before reliable written records are not history, fails":
- Huangdi Neijing is not a myth, it is "the fundamental doctrinal source for Chinese medicine for more than two millennia." A book that has been influenced eastern culture for millennia is not "history"? And what is inside that book is still in research, not all of them were wrong.
- Ayurveda: I agreed it is an alternative medicine system and pseudoscientific. However, it is heavily practiced over more than two millennia in the Indian subcontinent, larger than China. And you called it is not "history"?
- Vedas, a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India, have been orally transmitted since the 2nd millennium BCE, can not be called "history"?
Please remember that history is history, it is not right or wrong. It is just the event, point of view,... of our ancestors. If you wanna make it clearer, you could just edit it like this: "Ayurveda, an alternative medicine system,...". Right?
Moreover, what I mainly mentioned was just statistical information from them, not medical advice. For example: "massively recorded the properties of essential oils and their medical uses", "described a wide range of essential oils with over 700 curative herbs",... So what is wrong with them?
As your qualifications, the Hippocrates part should be deleted too. What he said is just his idea, not scientifically proven. However, you improved it for me. I really appreciate it. Promotional, misleading, vandalism,... content should be deleted. I agree. If it is a not-perfect (or so good) contribution, it should be improved by our community. I wish that my part can be improved as you do with my Hippocrates part.Sideduck (talk) 04:21, 25 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Editing is dynamic and can be changed if supported by WP:SCIRS sources, not by questionable independent books or hearsay. An essential oil is the result of multistep manufacturing, introduced in the lede with the statement, "Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation, often by using steam. Other processes include expression, solvent extraction, sfumatura, absolute oil extraction, resin tapping, wax embedding, and cold pressing." It is highly doubtful such methods were used millennia ago, and no reputable, peer-critiqued review discusses such practices. It is more likely that the sources you used were conjecture or exaggerations about extracted essential oils, and more likely concerned resins or dried materials (not manufactured essential oils). Your edits and sources gave specific information from periods long before written documents existed, so are not WP:V. Some of your content and references, like this one, are just spam. Everything else you provided was perpetuating myths or quackery, including Huangdi Neijing, Ayurveda, and Vedas. Zefr (talk) 06:21, 25 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dear User:Zefr,
1) "Some of your content and references are just spam.":
I gave citations for every piece of information I provided. Please tell me there is anything else that could be considered spam? We can just delete this ref. Don't remove all the edits because of a piece of information that did not look really good.
2) An essential oil is the result of multistep manufacturing, introduced in the lede with the statement, "Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation, often by using steam. Other processes include expression, solvent extraction, sfumatura, absolute oil extraction, resin tapping, wax embedding, and cold pressing." - You said: "It is highly doubtful such methods were used millennia ago, and no reputable, peer-critiqued review discusses such practices." And then you assumed that all information in ancient texts like Huangdi Neijing is a myth? Now you just applied your thought without any evidence to the topic.
For your information: "The history of production of essential oils dates back to ca. 3500 bc when the oldest known water distillation equipment for essential oils was employed, and may be seen today in the Texila museum in Pakistan. Ancient India, China, and Egypt were the locations where essential oils were produced and widely used as medicaments, flavors, and fragrances."[1]
"no reputable, peer-critiqued review discusses such practices." - It is just your own statement, Mister. You could do your own small research to see what scientists have been researching about how ancient Chinese and Indian produced and used essential oils. It is not too rare for you to see. For example: "For a long time, essential oils were well-known for their therapeutic importance. They were used as perfumes and flavors for foods and beverages or to heal both the body and mind for many years. They were used in ancient civilizations as Chinese, Indian, and ancient Egyptian and show their uses in many treatments in different forms. The ancient Chinese were the first culture to use aromatherapy in folk medicine, and then the ancient Egyptians created undeveloped distillation machine that is used for the crude extraction. Greece learned a large deal from the ancient Egyptians, and they also learned the therapeutic and aromatic advantages of the aromatic plants."[2] and here: - Please do not forget that usage of essential oils was not only medical but also pest control (like in ancient Egypt) and religious purposes.
The Egyptians used essential oils - 4000 years ago: You believed.
Hippocrates used essential oils - nearly 2500 years ago: You believed.
But Chinese and Indian used essential oils you did not believe because you thought "It is highly doubtful such methods were used millennia ago"?! Did you contradict yourself? Please tell me that it was just your lack of cultural understanding, there was not anything racism.
I just want my contribution back with good edits from you (I appreciate that).Sideduck (talk) 09:05, 25 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Handbook of Essential Oils. CRC Press. 10 August 2020. doi:10.1201/9781351246460.
  2. ^ Ahmed Kamal El-din El-Anssary, Amira (9 September 2020). "Aromatherapy as Complementary Medicine". Essential Oils - Bioactive Compounds, New Perspectives and Applications. IntechOpen. doi:10.5772/intechopen.92021.

I remain unconvinced about your arguments, sources and content suggested. There are no rigorous WP:SCIRS reviews to support this section. Overall, the whole history section lacks credibility specifically about essential oils and the good sourcing to support it. With this and the following edit, I trimmed it further and moved History to the end of the article until we have stronger sources. Zefr (talk) 17:10, 25 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for your response.
Firstly, I agreed that we should improve the whole history section.
Secondly, moving this section to the bottom and forgetting about it is not a solution.
Thirdly, I am willing to discuss with you what information we can bring back. I am doing my small essay about Essential oil, that is why I am interested in this and I have time to do the research.
Thank you again for your time.Sideduck (talk) 05:23, 26 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good content on this topic will come from reputable sources, especially reviews per WP:RS. Using the search terms, essential oils-history-review on Google Scholar and PubMed, I didn't find any source worth using here. Zefr (talk) 17:36, 26 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Florasols extraction sources[edit]

This revert - originally against editing by a now-blocked user - is justified because the source for it is not a WP:SCIRS review, but rather a non-science blog. Further, the content is promotional of a supposed method having "big fans" (lol). Nonsense like this has no place in an encyclopedia. The reverted edit was also justified by one source copying Wikipedia content and another claiming "healing" properties of essential oils, a property for which there is no WP:MEDRS source. IP user is warned for re-inserting content not supported by reliable sources. Zefr (talk) 17:39, 15 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki Education assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 13 January 2022 and 16 April 2022. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Alannanaseer, AdeolaGA.

Please don't use Wikipedia for practicing essays and promoting urban myths, such as in this edit, which was poorly sourced and written. Read WP:MOS for the style needed, and WP:MEDRS for sourcing any content related to human health. Zefr (talk) 00:24, 13 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]